Perryville, Kentucky

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{land, century, early}
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{village, small, smallsup}
{water, park, boat}
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Perryville is a historical city in western Boyle County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 763 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Danville Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The precursor to modern-day Perryville was Harbeson's Station, a fort alongside the Chaplin River, settled during the final stages of the American Revolution. This fort, founded by James Harbeson and a group of settlers from Virginia, was strategically placed near a cave and spring. When troubles with local Indians arose, they fled across the water and into the cave to seek shelter from attack. The cave, which can still be viewed today, formed the settlers' first line of defense.[2]

Prospering as a farming community for decades, shortly after the War of 1812 two men named Edward Bullock and William Hall organized plans to build a village along the river near the original fort. Bullock and Hall named the village Perryville in honor of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the Battle of Lake Erie. In the late 1830s, a line of buildings next to the Chaplin River formed the basis of the village of Perryville. Now called "Merchants' Row," these buildings still stand.[2]

The early nineteenth century revived interest in classical education for the small town. Many institutions of higher learning, mostly all-women's colleges, were established, including the Ewing Institute, the Elmwood Academy, and Harmonia College. One of Harmonia College's graduates achieved national prominence--Carrie Nation, the national temperance leader, boarded at the Karrick-Parks house while living in Perryville. As Nation "cleaned out" a number of local spots, it is believed that Perryville became the first location in the United States to exercise Local Option laws.[2]

In October, 1862, the fields west of town were the site of the Battle of Perryville, an important encounter in the American Civil War that ended the Kentucky Campaign of Confederate generals Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith. The Perryville Battlefield is preserved as a state park, and is the site of an American Civil War reenactment of the battle every year.[3]

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